100 All-Time Greatest Comics… Improved: Part X

Sorry for missing the schedule – I can’t even claim it was because of anything important… Anyway, on with the show!

Old Man Logan

OML

Remember how the last time I remembered to do one of these things, I said how Millar did a pretty good job? Well, I won’t have that problem here.

See, the thing about Mark Millar is that he either writes something compelling that can tug your heartstrings without you even realising… or he writes something with an interesting premise and fun action scenes that’s vaguely irritating.

Whothoughtthiswasagoodidea

He can also write utter dogshit, but that’s another matter entirely…

Why is The Red Skull teaming up with Magneto? Why are The Hulk’s and She-Hulk’s incestous offspring roaming the USA? Why are there even incestuous kids? Why is the art so much better than the writing? Why? Why? Why?

I mean, if you want to read the best post-apocalyptic comic ever made…

The Replacement… When The Wind Blows

When

… you only had to ask.

By rights, I should have done this sooner; Briggs’ birthday was months ago, but somebody else’s birthday came a bit sooner. Indeed, Raymond Briggs has such a varied and long bibliography, it’s genuinely difficult to pick out what could possibly described as his “best”. However, my dander’s up and I’m on a roll, so let’s get on with this.

For those of you who haven’t read this particular work, it’s a very straightforward tale of what would happen if an atomic bomb was dropped in England. More specifically, it’s what would happen to two very ordinary people living by themselves and how they do their best to get back to normality, even when it’s painfully obvious to the reader what will happen next.

And make no mistake: this book will cause the reader considerable pain. You thought Grant Morrison made you sad when he wrote We3?  Raymond Briggs will tear your heart out, crush it in front of you, and you will thank him for the privilege (indeed, in his ineffable sadistic wit, Briggs based the main characters of When The Wind Blows on his own parents. Yes, really).

Briggs always takes the utmost care in his work, and When The Wind Blows is a sterling example of this. Not a single line or fleck of colour is used extraneously, and the pacing always maintains a steady beat, even when the bombs drop. Make no mistake, there is beauty in the cruelty this book shall inflict upon you. It may not have a happy ending, but that’s hardly Raymond’s style, is it?

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